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Italian island faces crisis weekend as migrants flock

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Italian island faces crisis weekend as migrants flock


A busy weekend is in store for immigration officers on Europe’s Mediterranean borders. Favourable weather will soon break so the flow of immigrants making the dangerous journey is quickening. Some 350 Africans have arrived in Lampedusa today, and the tiny Italian island’s temporary facilities are overwhelmed already.

Designed to house 750, its current population is over 1,200 and could reach over 2,000 very soon. Scores more immigrants are expected in the coming hours, on the evening tides.

Some 500 desperate, hungry, and often sick people have arrived on Lampedusa in the last 24 hours. In total this year, the number of immigrants seeking to arrive in Europe illegally via the Italian coast has doubled compared to 12 months ago.

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